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'Crash for cash' hotspots revealed, as the net closes in on the dishonest few

26th April 2010

  • Direct Line is monitoring hundreds of locations used by fraudsters and reveals the top ten
  • Scams by a small number of people delay payouts and add £44 to every motorists’ premiums

Analysis by Direct Line has identified the UK’s top ten 'crash for cash' hotspots*, as the insurer steps up its fight against fraudsters who cost every other motorist an average of £44 a year and delay payments for genuine car insurance claims.

'Crash for cash' fraudsters fake accidents by making unnecessary emergency stops at busy roundabouts or slip roads, forcing motorists to crash into them. They then make bogus claims to the innocent motorist’s insurer, often including fictitious injuries.

Direct Line’s sophisticated monitoring of data and coordinated nationwide investigations means its anti-fraud team are aware of hundreds of sites that have been used by fraudsters, enabling them to catch the perpetrators and bring them to justice. The scams are estimated to cost up to £350 million a year** increasing the car insurance premiums of honest drivers, as well as delaying payouts for claims that happened at known hotspots by up to three weeks.

Further analysis has enabled Direct Line to map the entire country to highlight evidence of suspicious claims and determine the ten worst hotspots for the scams. By utilising this information alongside specially developed technology and methodology, Direct Line is able to catch fraudsters more easily and quickly. The top ten hotspots include roundabouts and slip roads throughout the UK.

Top Ten Crash for Cash Hot Spots

  1. Centenary Way, Trafford Park, Manchester
  2. Haslingden roundabout, Junction 5, M65
  3. Scotland Road roundabout, Junction 13, M65
  4. Gannow Top roundabout, Cavalry Way, Burnley
  5. Eden Point roundabout, A34, Stockport
  6. Denham roundabout, M40
  7. Jarman Park, A414, Hemel Hempstead
  8. Parkway Uxbridge Road A312 / A4020
  9. Port Way / Strand Road junction , Preston
  10. Junction 24 roundabout, M25

 

Kate Lotts, Director of Specialist Claims at Direct Line said: "Crash for cash scams pose a significant risk to public safety. As well as adding to the cost of insurance, they delay payouts on genuine claims as any reported accident at a known scam site has to undergo additional investigations. Just the actions of a few, can cost motorists a significant amount of money and pose a real threat to people’s lives.

"Our investigation systems mean that we can pinpoint areas of concern and the hotspots are just a small proportion of the data that we share with the rest of the insurance industry. We will not tolerate fraudsters and always push for the harshest penalties, as we have a duty to protect our customers. Every pound taken by a fraudster is a pound taken from honest motorists."

Direct Line offers the following tips for drivers to protect themselves against fraudsters:

  • If you suspect someone in front of you is driving erratically give them as wide a berth as possible
  • In the event of an accident record as much detail as possible including names, addresses and dates of birth of claimants
  • Make a note of how many people are in the other vehicle
  • If possible take photographs with your mobile phone
  • Get full names and addresses of any witnesses
  • Make sure you highlight concerns to your insurer
  • You can report information free of charge to the Insurance Fraud Bureau’ confidential hotline on 0800 328 2550 or online at www.insurancefraudbureau.org/report

For further details on Direct Line car insurance and further tips and advice on staying safe on the road visit our website.

For further information, please contact:

Simon Henrick,
Direct Line Press Office
Tel: 0208 313 5934
Mobile: 07920 467860
Email: simon.henrick@rbs.co.uk

Notes to Editors:

*The information obtained has been acquired by both internal data and data provided by our external investigation agents. The accident locations have been found to be areas of high percentage of accidents and it has also been found that these locations have a higher percentage of suspected and proven fraudulent claims.

Our investigation systems means that we can pinpoint areas of concern and these locations mentioned are only a small proportion of the data we hold.
**The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) estimates the insurance industry’s exposure to fraudulent organised motor insurance claims per year is £350m, costing honest customers over £4 million every week. This adds on average £44 to the annual costs individual policyholders face each year.

Direct Line

Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides car, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.

Direct Line general insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Direct Line and UK Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc. Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0845 246 3761 or visiting www.directline.com